- The HIVBr18 vaccine has been developed by the University of Sao Paulo
-The scientists said that, at its current stage of development, the vaccine would not totally eliminate the virus from the organism
-But, it would be able to maintain it at a 'viral load low enough that infected person will neither develop immunodeficiency nor transmit the virus'
- Clinical trials on humans could follow once adequate funding is acquired
Brazilian scientists have developed a vaccine that could potentially prevent against HIV and plan to begin testing it on monkeys later this year.
Known as the HIVBr18, the vaccine that could protect people from getting the virus that causes AIDS was developed and patented by a team from the Medicine Faculty of the University of Sao Paulo.
The scientists said that, at its current stage of development, the vaccine would not totally eliminate the virus from the organism
However, it would be able to maintain it at a 'viral load low enough that the infected person will neither develop an immunodeficiency nor transmit the virus.'
The Sao Paulo state Research Foundation (FAPESP), which is sponsoring the research, said the monkey trials are expected to last two years.
Researchers plan to test their vaccine on a colony of rhesus monkeys provided by Sao Paulo state's Butantan biomedical research institute.
Professor Edecio Cunha Neto said: 'Our goal is to test various immunisation methods to select the one capable of inducing a stronger immunological response and thus be able to test it on humans.'
Once the trials on monkeys have been completed, the researchers will then need to acquire adequate funding to support the first clinical trials of the vaccine on humans.
The research team including Cunha Neto, Jorge Kalil and Simone Fonseca began working on the vaccine in 2001.
Rhesus monkeys were chosen for the test because their immune system is similar to that of humans.
They are also susceptible to SIV (Simian immunology Virus), which is believed to have led to HIV when it crossed the species barrier.
Earlier this year, Danish scientists began clinical trials on a new technique which involves removing HIV from human DNA and then allowing it to be destroyed naturally by the body's immune system.
The scientists, based at Aarhus University Hospital in Denmark, say the possible cure would be affordable and would represent a dramatic step forward in the attempt to find a cure for the HIV virus which affects 33 million people worldwide.